Thursday, December 4, 2014

Begging For Forgiveness?

This is what I think Piper would have said to me on the way home from class tonight if she was able to talk:

"You were so nice to me today, Mom!  You took me to class today and I don't normally go to a Thursday class so I had so much fun!  You also have amazing friends and they donated food to you for the food bank and you collected a box filled with all sorts of great things to feed the hungry.  Speaking of hungry, that package of ichiban noodles looked so good.  I think True's Mom had brought this today.  I hadn't tried ichiban ever!  I was wondering how it would taste.  I didn't think we'd be home anytime soon and I was due for supper.  I know there are hungry people in the world but I was sooo hungry so I didn't think a package of ichiban would matter.   Plus I'm sure you have one in the cupboard to replace I just grabbed one out of the box and ate the whole package.   Yummy!!  But I'm sorry?  ~not!"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

She's 10 years old already???

Piper is 10!  Time flies super fast!  But she is crazy and sassy as ever.  Happy Birthday Piper!

We got some pics done to celebrate her 10th.  Thanks Wendy from Paws on the Run Photography.  They turned out great!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Busy, busy, busy....

It's been a while since I posted my last blog.  It's been super, super busy.

We started on Keeper's medicine regiment.  There was immediate improvement in her protein levels.  I was amazed that it only took a week on prednizone for her levels to be almost back to normal!  

I also started her back into agility classes.  It's like she never skipped a beat.  I think she was glad to get back at it.  But she lost a lot of muscle mass, so we are working hard on building it back up.

In December, Piper and I were in the 2X4 trial.  It was the coldest weekend ever, travelling up in -40 degree temps.  (What we do for our dogs!)  But Piper was super awesome!  It was her best trial.  Went 5/6 and if not for a missed contact, she would have been perfect.

Then Christmas came and went like a flash.  Both Piper and Keeper got new toys that literally lasted as long as Christmas did!

We are now almost a month into the New Year and it doesn't seem to slow down.  We were on the waiting list for the January trial.  This was going to be Keeper's return to the ring.  And also Piper is one gamble away from earning her ATChC.  Hopefully we will have the opportunity in February.  The wait seems like forever.  In the meantime, we are keeping busy with agility classes, rally, nosework, and scent hurdle.  Even spent a day at an awesome seminar with Loretta Mueller with both Keeper and Piper.  

We have now tapered the prednizone and immuran back to a maintenance level the vet wants us to be at for Keeper. We will get blood work done in February to make sure we are on the right course.  At first we noticed a bit of a change in her.  A little more food craving.  Would rather sleep on the floor at night. Not interested in bringing us toys to play with her.  Not as much energy.  Skinny.  Cow patty poop.  We thought this was the new Keeper we had to get used to.

But since her medicine has been tapered, she is back to her old self!  Lots of energy!  Back to her normal weight! There's lots of toys scattered throughout the house again!  And this past week, we noticed her poop is back to almost normal!  We are so relieved and know we are on the right track!

If January is any indication of how the rest of the year will be like, it will be a busy one.  But it'll also be a great one and a successful one!  Piper and Keeper know it too!  :) 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It seems like a duck. It looks like a duck. If we go in, we would probably find a duck.

Intestinal Lymphangiectasia: This disorder is considered to be the most common cause of intestinal protein loss.  The disease is characterized by dilated intestinal lymphatics, resulting in dilated and ruptured lacteals (small lymphatic vessels) in the lining of the intestine.  This leads to a loss of protein, fats and lymphocytes (white blood cell) into the stool.   Clinical signs are: weight loss, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, and most significantly low blood protein. - exert from our patient information sheet we received.

This past Thursday, we took Keeper to see the internist, Dr. Sheri Clarkson.  When arranging the appointment, they informed us that an ultrasound will be conducted first.  Then we would have a consult, and if necessary, a scope and biopsy would be conducted.

When we got to the appointment, they took Keeper to get shaved.  :'(  But we were able to be with her while the ultrasound was being done.  Dr. Clarkson was so good.  She talked to us throughout the exam, and explained what she was seeing.  We then had our consult.

She explained that of what she saw of the small intestine, had the characteristics of Intestinal Lymphangiectasia.  Symptoms experienced fit this condition.  But cancer could also explain the symptoms as well.  She did not see any unusual masses.  We wouldn't know for certain without biopsies.  But obtaining the necessary samples would be risky, even more so with a dog with low protein.  Low protein can impede the ability to heal.

She then told us, "It seems like a duck.  It looks like a duck.  If we go in, we would probably find a duck."

We decided we were confident in Dr. Clarkson's expertise and experience.  This is what she does.  This is what she sees all the time.

So we are treating for Intestinal Lymphangiectasia.  Treatment is indefinite. (And it's similar to IBD treatment.)

Prednizone freaks me out the most.  It will change her.

But Dr. Clarkson encourages us to continue in agility.  I may not get the same focus, but believes that this condition should not stop us from continuing to train.  It may even help her through the treatment.

We will see what the future brings.  It's been three days on the medication.   So far so good, although Keeper's a bit skinny.  She still cuddles with me on the couch.  She still has strong toy drive.  We played in the yard and played fetch and tug.  I will be taking her to class this week.   I may or may not be able to trial her again.  We will see over the next weeks how much she will change.  

One thing for sure is that she will always be part of us.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's not a fast's not an easy process

It's been over a month since I noticed something was not right with Keeper.  We were getting ready for the fall and winter trials.  I noticed a bit of diarrhea and thought to keep an eye on it.  And it didn't go away.  Then there were several bouts of vomit.  This is not right.  Several visits to the vet....several tests later and we are no further ahead.  X-rays show no blockages.  No parasites present.  Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency has been ruled out.

But blood tests show low protein.  We overhauled her food and added egg whites but there has been no improvement.  It's been determined that we are dealing with an absorption problem and we do not know the cause.  We visit the vet weekly for B12 shots and am also giving daily doses of potassium chloride.  An ultrasound with possible scope and biopsy has now been booked.  

We wait again.

Through all this, I have received amazing help and support from amazing people, from both dog-friends and non-dog friends. We also have the vomit under control with medication.  It seems to make a difference.  Keeper is a lot more like herself.  A bit skinnier...but happy.

I feel bad for leaving her behind from trialling.  I know she wants to come and have some fun.  I'm sure she misses it.  I hope we can get this figured out soon.  

It's hard to stand by and's just hard....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why does she feel the need???

Piper has gotten into this bad habit.  I pretty much cannot leave her in the car without being supervised...not even for 5 min!  She feels the need to grab whatever she can and shred it to pieces.

We were in Calgary this past weekend for an agility trial.  It was Training Troop's Halloween Howler and we had Crayola crayon costumes to enter the costume contest on the Saturday.  (btw we didn't win).   So we packed up the costumes, put them back in the plastic bag and threw them back in the vehicle.  I'm debating whether to keep the costumes, or to sell them.

 Saturday evening, we quickly went to pick up food for supper.  We were not even gone for 10 min.  We found the plastic bag ripped to shreds and the packages with the costumes in several different pieces. Luckily she didn't wreck the costumes.  They were still in tact!  I'm surprised because most of the costumes are made out of foam.

This year, Piper has wrecked two of my sister-in-law, Roberta's agility bags and several food containers.  Last year Piper wrecked two of Roberta's purses.  Sigh....

On a positive note, we had a good weekend.  We q'd 4/6 runs and probably had our best Standard run ever.  Of course we didn't bring out the video camera for that.  So instead, here's a pic of us as a pack of crayons.

I had to pull Keeper from the trial and she stayed home.  However, Shauna had offered to take Keeper to a Halloween party at Paws on the Run.  They were our missing Crayons from our pack of crayons.

 I want to thank Shauna for taking my crazy one.  I know she had fun!  Also want to thank Wendy for letting Keeper join the festivities, and Amanda for helping Shauna out handling the two dogs.  :)

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nine Years Naughty

Well, this is my first blog post ever, and why not do it on Piper's ninth birthday!  I can't believe she's nine already.  Happy Birthday Pipes!

I started this blog to share all by pup's naughtiness and craziness!  There are lots of stories from the past and will certainly have stories to write in the future.  Even though Piper is nine, she is just as naughty as she was when my husband and I adopted her when she was one years old.

Keeper, on the other hand, is Piper's understudy.  She will easily fill Piper's shoes in due course.

Right now Keeper has not been well.  Some vomiting and lots of diarrhea.  :(  Had gone to the vet a couple of weeks back and medicine did not work.  On Monday we had x-rays and blood work done.  There's inflammation and also found out her protein levels are low.  We overhauled her diet and will be getting vitamin b shots for the next while.  As a result, I had to pull her out of the training troop trial and also pulled her from the CAA trial. I was looking forward to running her.  She's made huge improvements over the last month.  But priority is to get her healthy!

Hoping I can keep this blog up to share my stories.  Hope you will enjoy!